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Ham. The phrase would be more german * to the matter, if we could carry a cannon by our sides; I would, it might be hangers till then. But, on: Six Barbary horses against six French swords, their assigns, and three liberal conceited carriages; that's the French bet against the Danish: Why is this impawned, as you call it?

Osr. The king, Sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits; he hath laid, on twelve for nine; and it would come to immediate trial, if your lordship would vouchsafe the an


Ham. How, if I answer, no?

Osr. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your person in trial.

Enter KING, QUEEN, LAERTES, LORDS, OSRIC, and Attendants, with Foils, &c.

King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand from me.

[The KING puts the Hand of LAERTES into that of HAMLET.

Ham. Give me your pardon, Sir: I have done
you wrong;

But pardon it, as you are a gentlemar.
This presence knows, and you must needs have
How I am punish'd with a sore distraction.
What I have done,

That might your nature, honour, and exception,
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never, Ham-
If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,



Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall: If it please his majesty, it is the breathing time of day with me: let the foils be brought, the gen-And, when he is not himself, does wrong Latleman willing, and the king hold his purpose, I Then Hamlet' does it not, Hamlet denies it. will win for him, if I can; if not, I will gain Who does it then? His madness? If't be so, nothing but my shame, and the odd hits. Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd, Osr. Shall I deliver yon so? His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy. Sir, in this audience,

Ham. To this effect, Sir; after what flourish

your nature will.

Osr. I commend my duty to your lordship. [Exit. Ham. Yours, yours.-He does well to commend it himself; there are no tongues else for's

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Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to you by young Osric, who brings back to him, that you attend him in the hall: He sends to know, if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you will take longer time.

Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they follow the king's pleasure: if his fitness speaks, mine is ready; now, or whensoever, provided I be so able as now.

Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming down.

Ham. In happy time.

Lord. The queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.

Ham. She well instructs me.

[Erit LORD. Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord. Ham. I do not think so; since he went into France, I have been in continual practice; I shall win at the odds. But thou wouldst not think, how ill all's here about my heart: but it

is no matter.

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Let my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil
Free me so far in your most generous thoughts,
That I have shot my arrow o'er the house,
And hurt my brother.

Laer. I am satisfied in nature,
Whose motive, in this case, should stir me


stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
To my revenge: but in my terms of honour,
Till by some elder masters, of known honour,
have a voice and precedent of peace,
To keep my name ungor'd:+ But till that time,
I do receive your offer'd love like love,
And will not wrong it.

Ham. I embrace it freely;
And will this brother's wager frankly play.—
Give us the foils; come on.

Laer. Come, one for me.

Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes; in mine ig

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If Hamlet gives the first or second hit,
or quit in answer of the third exchange,
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire;
The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
And in the cup an union shall he throw,
Richer than that which four successive kings
In Denmark's crown have worn; Give me the
And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to

Now the King drinks to Hamlet.-Come,
begin ;---

And you, the judges, bear a wary eye.
Ham. Come on, Sir.
Laer. Come, my lord.
Ham. One.

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[They play.

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King. Stay, give me drink; Hamlet, this pearl is thine;

Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup. [Trumpets sound; and Cannon shot off within.

Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it awhile.

Come. Another hit; What say you?


Mine and my father's death come not upon thee;

Nor thine on me.

[Dies. Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.

I am dead, Horatio:-Wretched queen, adieu !—
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act,
Had I but time, (as this fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest,) oh! I could tell you,-
But let it be-Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright

[They play. To the unsatisfied.

Laer. A touch, a touch, I do confess. King. Our son shall win.

Queen. He's fat, and scant o'breath.Here, Hamlet, take my napkin,

rub thy brows:

The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.
Ham. Good madam,-

King. Gertrude, do not drink.

Queen. I will, my lord; I pray you, pardon

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Treachery! seek it out.

[LAERTES falls. Laer. It is here, Hamlet: Hamlet, thou art slain;

No medicine in the world can do thee good,
In thee there is not half an hour's life;
The treacherous instrument is in thy hand,
Unbated and envenom'd: the foul practice
Hath turn'd itself on me; lo, here I lie,
Never to rise again: Thy mother's poison'd;
I can no more; the king, the king's to blame.
Ham. The point
Envenom❜d too!-Then, venom, to thy work.
[Stabs the KING.
Osr.& Lords. Treason! treason!
King. O yet defend me, friends, I am but


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Hor. Never believe it;

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane,
Here's yet some liquor left.

Ham. As thou'rt a man,

Give me the cup; let go; by heaven I'll have it.-
O God!-Horatio, what a wounded name,
Things standing thus unknown, shall live be-
hind me ?

If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.—

[March afar off, and Shot within. What warlike noise is this?

Ors. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come from Poland,

To the ambassadors of England gives
This warlike volley.

Ham. O I die, Horatio;

The potent poison quite o'er-crows + my spirit;
I cannot live to hear the news from England:
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice;
So tell him, with the occurrents, more or less,
Which have solicited, §-The rest is silence.

Hor. Now cracks a noble heart ;-Good night,
sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!-
Why does the drum come hither?

[March within.

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What feast is toward in thine eternal cell,
That thou so many princes, at a shot,
So bloodily hast struck?

1 Amb. The sight is dismal : And our affairs from England come too late; The ears are senseless, that should give us hearing,

To tell him, his commandment is fulfill'd,
That Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead:
Where should we have our thanks?
Hor. Not from his mouth, **

Had it the ability of life to thank you;
He never gave commandment for their death.
But since, so jump ++ upon this bloody question,
You from the Polack wars, and you from

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The foil without a button, and poisoned, than was reasonable.

tt By chance.

And call the noblest to the audience.

For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune ; ›
I have some rights of memory in this kingdom,
Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
Hor. Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
And from his mouth whose voice will draw on

more :

Bear Hamlet, like a soldier, to the stage;
For he was likely, had he been put on,
To have prov'd most royally: and, for his pas

The soldier's music, and the rites of war,
Speak loudly for him.-

Take up the bodies:-Such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.

But let this same be presently perform'd Even while men's minds are wild; lest more Go, bid the soldiers shoot. [A dead march. mischance

On plots and errors, happen.
Fort. Let four captains

[Exeunt, bearing off the dead Bodies; after which, a Peal of Ordnance is shot off.

In reply to an objection which was raised by an eminent critic, and has been repeated with considerable justice by all who have since written on the incidents of this play, viz. that "there appears no adequate cause for the feigned madness of Hamlet; as he does nothing which he might not have done with the reputation of sanity ; playing the madman most when he treats Ophelia with so much rudeness, which seems to be useless and wanton cruelty,"---the following novel and satisfactory opinion, condensed from the remarks of a most intelligent and praise-worthy commentator, may be advantageously quoted :--- Hamlet resolved to counterfeit madness that he might kill his uncle without being considered as a traitor and a murderer: this he must have been, having no proof against his father's assassin, except what was said by the ghost to himself alone; and of course it would have no weight with any other person. Wishing for additional evidence, he had recourse to the play, which confirming the story of the ghost, he would instantly have gratified his vengeance by killing his uncle, but for the extraordinary circumstance of finding him on his knees at prayer; and shortly afterwards he actually supposed he had done it, when he stabbed Polonius behind the arras, and, finding his mistake, solemnly conjured his mother to retain the secret of his madness being feigned. His treatment of “the young, the beautiful, the harmless, and the pious Ophelia” may be explained in the same way; for if he behaved in such a frantic manner to her, who was the object of his tenderest regard, it is a certain consequence that not a doubt could be entertained by others of the reality of his distraction; and thus the delusion was complete.---Bowdler versus Johnson.



THE story upon which this beautiful and instructive tragedy is founded, was taken, according to Mr. Pope, from Cynthio's novels. It was probably written in the year 1611. Mustapha, Selymus's general, invaded Cyprus in May 1570, and conquered it in the following year. His fleet first sailed towards that island; but immediately changing its course for Rhodes, formed a junction with another squadron, and then returned to the attack of Cyprus: thus the actual historical periods of the performance are satisfactorily determined. In addition to the admirable lesson set forth in this impressive tragedy, so well calculated to produce an excellent effect upon the human mind, by pourtraying that baneful passion, which, when once indulged, is the inevitable destroyer of conjugal happiness; it may justly be considered as one of the noblest efforts of dramatic genius, that has appeared in any age, or in any language. "The fiery openness of Othello, (says Dr. Johnson) magnanimous, artless, and credulous; boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge---the soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit, and conscious of innocence; her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be suspected---the cool malignity of Iago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance---are such proofs of Shakspeare's skill in human nature, as I suppose it is in vain to seek in any modern writer; whilst even the inferior characters would be very conspicuous in any other piece, not only for their justness, but their strength." In proportion to the enormity of such a crime as adultery, should be the caution with which a suspicion of it is permitted to be entertained; and our great dramatic moralist was no doubt desirous of enforcing this maxim, when he made it, as he has done, the subject of no less than four of his most finished productions.

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vernment of Cyprus.

CLOWN, Servant to Othello.

DESDEMONA, Daughter to Brabantio, and
Wife to Othello.

EMILIA, Wife to Iago.

BIANCA, a Courtezan, Mistress to Cassio.

MONTANO, Othello's predecessor in the Go-Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicans,

Sailors, Attendants, &c.

SCENE, for the first Act, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, at a Sea-port in Cyprus.


SCENE I-Venice.-A Street.


My mediators; for, certes, says he,

I have already chose my officer.

And what was he?

Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

Rod. Tush, never tell me, I take it much un- A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife ; +

That thou, lago,-who hast had my purse,
As if the strings were thine,-shouldst know of

Iago. 'Sblood, but you will not hear me :-
If ever I did dream of such a matter,
Abhor me.

Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in
thy hate.

Iago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great
ones of the city,

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Oft capp'd to him;-aud, by the faith of man,
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place:
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circumstance, t
Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;
And, in conclusion, nonsuits

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That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster; unless the bookish the-
oric, t

Wherein the toged consuls can propose
As masterly as he mere prattle, without prac-

Is all his soldiership. But he, Sir, had the elec-
And I,-of whom his eyes had seen the proof,
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds
Christian and heathen,-must be be-lee'd and

By debitor and creditor; this counter-caster, ||
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,


For wife some read life, supposing it to allude to the denunciation in the Gospel, Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you." Theory. It was anciently the

Rulers of the state.

practice to reckon up sums with counters.

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